Why does the UK and US Post Offices dislike Stamp Collectors?

Discussion in 'Stamp Chat' started by bickerstonehall, May 19, 2017.

  1. bickerstonehall

    bickerstonehall Moderator Moderator

    Why does the UK and US Post Offices dislike Stamp Collectors?

    They must do!

    It is impossible to soak off UK and US Stamps from paper.

    Israel and Ukraine stamps no problem. Stamps just floated off paper after 5 minutes in water. UK and US like superglue.

    Total frustration.

  2. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    In the U.S. the stamp-using public prefers pressure sensitive adhesive stamps over moisture activated gum. While the U.S. Postal Service markets stamps for collectors, it is not in business to respond to collectors' wishes. If you will pardon a pun, we are "stuck" with pressure sensitive adhesive stamps!

    It is possible to remove these stamps from envelopes. There is a wealth of information on stamp forums about products that unstick the current self-adhesives. I use Ronsonol lighter fluid.

    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  3. Larry L. Taylor

    Larry L. Taylor Active Member

    It's nice to go a little further than just the lighter fluid. I actually use naptha (found in most paint stores) to lift the stamps off the paper. but then I use a citrus oil air freshener (in an aerosol can) to 'dissolve' the adhesive and literally wipe it off the pack of the stamp with a paper towel. Comes in lemon or orange 'flavor'. All of this is done outside in open air due the organic nature of the chemicals - of course strongly advised not to smoke while using the organics and spray aerosols. Source of citrus oil?: www.purecitrus.com
  4. bickerstonehall

    bickerstonehall Moderator Moderator

    Do these chemicals not damage the stamps, and or, leave them with a nasty smell?
  5. Larry L. Taylor

    Larry L. Taylor Active Member

    To date, I've not seen any damage to the paper, or the printing or cancellation ink. It is, however, a tedious process to clean each stamp individually. The naptha / lighter fluid is very volatile and is pretty much odorless to start with. One could substitute 'white' gasoline (typically used with camp stoves), but I've found that doesn't work quite as well as naptha. I apply the naptha thru a little plastic bottle with a 'needle' dispenser to the paper on the backside of the stamp. As to the citrus oils (at least the ones I use) are also volatile. The canned aerosol oils are actually marketed as air fresheners. I leave the stamps out in the fresh air for the time I'm cleaning them (I usually do 30-50 stamps at one sitting), and there's no odor or discoloration of the paper, and my albums containing the used stamps don't smell like lemons.

    Caution: handling the stamps while they're 'soaked' with naptha tends to remove the natural oils in your fingertips, so you may want to have some hand cream available after you finish with your stamp soaking session. Can't use latex gloves; they'd dissolve in the naptha. Nitrile gloves might work, but easier to work the stamps off the paper with your fingernails rather than trying to work with tongs.
  6. Takis Kalogerakos

    Takis Kalogerakos Active Member

    and Australian - New Zealand are having self adhesive stamps that is imposible to soak
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